BOB:  Mostly minors

Mesa votes to keep Cubs

Proposition 420 was overwhelmingly approved by Mesa, Ariz. voters last week and this paves the way for the city to build a new spring training complex for the Chicago Cubs. Sixty-three percent of the voters approved the measure and this ends a several-months struggle to keep the team in town for the Grapefruit League. The complex is expected to cost $84 million and it should open in 2013.

Most of the funding will come from an increase in the hotel tax from 2 percent to 5 percent. There’s also a privately funded “Wrigleyville West” development that’s expected to be build nearby as well.

Birmingham beats out Hoover for Barons

For the past 20 years the Birmingham Barons haven’t been playing in the city proper they’ve been playing in the nearby suberb of Hoover. Last week, the mayor of Birmingham, William Bell, and the Barons owner, Don Logan, reached an agreement that will bring the Barons home to a new downtown Birmingham stadium.

For now, the Barons will continue to play in Hoover while the new stadium is being built. I haven’t found any cost estimates or an expected opening but Hoover has to be upset because they just spent a sizeable chunk of change ($6.5 million) renovating Hoover Regions Park back in 2007.

Former Portland minor league team to play in Tuscon

It’s now official that the San Diego Padres Triple-A affiliate will be playing in Tuscon, Ariz. in 2011. The Portland Beavers had to vacate their old stadium because it was being turned into a soccer-specific facility and while the San Diego Padres eventually hope to move the team closer to home, they have a “ready to play” ball park in Tuscon to take advantage of.

There’s also a chance the team could find itself in Tuscon beyond the 2011 season. The plan is to build a ballpark for the franchise in Escondido, Calif. but there’s a critical city council vote at the end of November that should determine the fate of the team’s stadium. If the measure doesn’t pass, then the team’s future is a little more cloudy and we could see baseball in Tuscon in 2012 and beyond.

Venezuelan scout looks to former Rangers owner for $1.4 million

Roney Calderon claims that he scouted for the Texas Rangers between 1994 and 2001 and when he was let go, Calderon filed a lawsuit in the Venezuelan Labor Court and received a $183,534 judgement from the Rangers. He claims he received most of the payments but according to this story, he’s looking for upwards of $1.4 million from the former owners of the Rangers because of how much the Venezuelan currency has depreciated.

Texas Rangers Baseball Partners, the former owner of the Rangers, called the claim baseless. Now it’ll probably be up to the bankruptcy court to decide whether the claim has merit or not.

Billings Mustangs, New Hampshire Fisher Cats win minor league awards

Earlier this week, two prestigious awards were given out to minor league teams. The Billings Mustangs won the President’s Award, which is given to honor the complete baseball franchise. Franchise stability, contributions to baseball within the community and promotion of the baseball industry are all taken into account when giving out the award.

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats were given the Larry MacPhail award, which is given to the team that gave the best promotion effort in Minor League Baseball. The Fisher Cats did this by providing fans with upwards of 35 promotions every game. They held 40 theme events, 27 premium giveaways and 25 fireworks shows to help provide a little bit extra to their fans.

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  1. gdc said...

    Must be spelling day.  That I bothered to mention it is testimony of how good the editing usually is

    “suberb of Hoover”

  2. Duane said...

    With the advent of the Portland Beavers having left Portland everyone is asking what will happen to baseball in Portland next season (2011). The Northwest Independent Baseball League has the answer.

    Come see Semi-professional baseball played with local teams and players form Portland, Gresham, Salem and Vancouver. Fourteen teams play baseball from May through August at Walker and Sckavone Stadiums (see schedule at NWIBL.ORG) in Southeast Portland. Teams consist of players with High School, College, and Professional experience.

    These teams are looking for local sponsorship. Your sponsorship can be a place to meet after games at a sports pub or restaurant, (food and sprits as this is an adult team). Auto Dealers, Auto Parts, Sporting Goods, Sports Academy, Coffee Roster, or your business…

    The 2011 seasons looks for the league to expand with up to 5 new teams (Portland Athletics, Portland Yankees, Westmoreland Red Sox, the Stumptown Bee’s, and the Eastside Brewers). NWIBL Players within the two divisions can continue their passion playing baseball at the highest level. Players follow MLB rules and use wood bats.

    These teams are looking for new players with Varsity High School, College, and Professional experience. Baseball players that are wanting to continue their baseball passion and competitive sprit can sign up at NWIBL.ORG. Now’s your chance to play in Portland’s premier 18 and older Wood Bat Northwest Independent Baseball League. If your a solid Baseball Coach and willing to manage we need you…

  3. mike said...

    63% of the voters fell for the argument to give another handout to another wealthy owner and wealthy players.

    Wonders never cease.

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